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Projects & Initiatives

Public Access

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Association of American Universities (AAU) are seeking applications for an invitation-only 1.5 day workshop for research universities interested in drafting institutional plans for public access to research data.

The Workshop on Accelerating Public Access to Research Data has been graciously sponsored by NSF and will be held in Washington, DC on October 29-30, 2018. The deadline for applying was August 27. 

The workshop begins at 8:00 am ET on October 29 and will end by 2:00 pm ET on October 30, 2018.

The draft agenda is here

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a venue for learning, sharing, and planning to support research universities as they implement systems for public access to research data.  The workshop will draw upon and incorporate guidance from the recent AAU APLU Public Access Working Group Report, which included recommendations and actions that universities and federal agencies can take to advance public access to data in a viable and sustainable way. The Workshop goals include:

  • Accelerate the progress with which research institutions are developing and implementing institutional plans to provide public access to data;
  • Foster cross-institutional collaboration that yields alternative models to publicly sharing data, reduces total effort of developing public access to data across the system of research universities, and builds consensus on key system elements that foster effective storage and sharing of data in ways that are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR); and
  • Foster discussions among various data access stakeholders from universities and elsewhere to facilitate common, streamlined, and efficient approaches that help facilitate, support, and encourage data access.

The format of the workshop will involve convening small teams from each of 20-30 universities. The workshop will involve:

  • Presentations from key federal agencies, nonprofits, and societies who are actively promoting public access to research data,
  • Small group sharing across institutions and stakeholders, and
  • Time for each institutional team to develop a roadmap to plan for implementation of public access to research data.


We are asking AAU and/or APLU institutions to apply for this invitation-only Workshop. The institution should identify a team of 3-5 people from her/his university that represent stakeholders who will be working together to develop an institutional solution to supporting public access to research data. Teams will generally include representatives from the university’s research office, library, information technology, compliance or general counsel’s office, and faculty.

To apply, the chief academic officer or vice president of research should submit the application and a brief statement detailing:

  • current activities being pursued to develop and implement policies, programs or systems for public access to research data, and
  • what your institution hopes to gain by participating.

The deadline for the application is August 27, 2018. The application is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6NWPTH9. You can download the pdf of the survey to review here

If selected for participation, institutions should expect to cover travel costs for their team, agree to make substantive progress towards implementing an integrated public access system on their campus over the upcoming year, and agree to make themselves available to at least one university that does not attend the workshop and wishes to accelerate their own development towards sharing research data. In addition, we will seek funding for a follow-up workshop to assess progress and share lessons approximately one year after hosting the initial workshop.

For more information contact Kacy Redd at kredd@aplu.org.

The workshop will build off the report released by AAU and APLU that details actions universities and federal agencies can take to ensure public access to federally-sponsored research data. Lisa Lynch, Provost at Brandeis University and Sarah Nusser, Vice President for Research at Iowa State University, co-chaired the AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group. Other members of the working group included provosts, vice presidents for research, chief information officers, library representatives, and compliance officers from AAU and APLU universities.

The report also contains data management resources to provide universities with the information, tools, and additional guidance for making data publicly available. The associations will continue to support efforts related to the report and are discussing holding a series of future discussions and workshops with representatives from their campuses to advance its specific goals and recommendations.

Download the report.